toronto weather

Toronto breaks 168-year-old weather record amid brutal heat wave

Close those windows and blast that A/C, if you're lucky enough to have it, because Toronto is in the midst of a savage heat wave, with a 48-hour heat warning in effect for a large swath of Ontario and temperatures expected to feel like nearly 40 C.

Anyone who has been outside at all yesterday or today will know that, despite it appearing to be another stint of beautiful summer weather in the city, the sun, humidity and air quality are killer.

And, as Environment Canada notes, "overnight lows near 20 degrees Celsius will provide little relief from the heat."

Things have actually gotten so steamy that we just managed to break a long-standing weather record of over 100 years.

That's right, Tuesday's scorching, sticky conditions were the hottest July 19 on record in the locale since 1854, a whopping 168 years ago, with thermometers hitting a high of 35.2 C around 5 p.m.

The record set in that year was only a slightly warmer 36.1 C at the same date and time.

Yesterday also pushed 2022 to the second place for the year with the most days over 34 C in Toronto since records began, with two more months of summer still to go.

Though we should be thankful it's not a January snowstorm, the stifling atmosphere seems to be all that anyone has been talking about in the last 24 hours, with many businesses appearing noticeably quieter as people try to stay indoors.

The city extended hours at select public pools until 11:45 p.m. last night to give residents more of a chance to cool off, and has also activated its heat relief network of 300 air conditioned libraries, community centres, malls, 24-hour respite centres and more where people can go to beat the heat.

Free sunscreen is also available in select parks.

While some are loving it, many appear to be feeling quite the opposite, and Toronto Public Health is advising the public to drink lots of water, seek shade and A/C, limit outdoor activity, check in on loved ones and vulnerable residents, and never leave a pet or child inside a car.

Also, to look out for symptoms of heat stroke, like dizziness, nausea, extreme thirst or headache.

According to EnviroCan, today is forecast to hit 31 C, which will feel like up to 40 C at times with the humidex. A chance of showers and risk of thunderstorms from 9 p.m. onward could hopefully provide some much-needed relief.

The U.K. is also experiencing record-breaking, headline-making heat this week, with temps similar to ours at 40 C.

Lead photo by

Harry Luo

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